parrots are noisy
Puerto Maldonado Travel Blog› entry 5 of 26 › view all entries
We met about 5 am and went straight to the boat. We were going to Collpita - the parrot clay lick. Parrots need the minerals in the clay to help with their digestion and we needed to get there before the birds did. We arrived on shore and climbed up the slippery trail to the blind. We could hear the parrots squeaking in the background and also the huge, deep rumbling of the howler monkey. They roared for about 30 minutes. When they were finished, it was oddly quiet despite the gathering of parrots in the trees.
Normally they see about 30 birds but they clay was too wet yesterday so we saw close to 100 birds! Our guide said that many parrots had indigestion today J It was so noisy there.
We went back for a little breakfast and then across the river to a local farm. We met the little girl who lives there, Ashley. She chattered away and we felt bad that none of us could understand enough Spanish to talk to a 4 year old. A duck was tied up in the front yard with lots of other ducks and chickens and baby birds roaming around the yard. Ashley said they were going to kill the duck and eat it for dinner. I really hoped that wasn’t going to be dinner for us. We walked around and looked at the crops. They plant corn and rice together because of a bug that attacks rice but not corn. Apparently the bug sees corn and not the rice so it doesn’t infest the rice. We saw plantains, pineapples, yucca, avocado trees, coffee, cocoa, starfruit, papaya and some other things.
We walked out to another really large tree. This one had a big vine hanging down so we climbed it by walking up the tree. Alan told us this tree brings luck if you walk around it three times. “Do you have a boyfriend? Then you will get married. No? Then you will get a boyfriend. Or get money.” So we all walked around the tree three times not sure if we would be getting married, getting a boyfriend or getting money.
We walked back to the farm. It had gotten really hot and sunny there (finally the sun came out!). We went into the house, which was pretty open, and found that it was nice and cool in the shade with a breeze. But we all felt a little awkward there staring at the family and their property like they were a zoo exhibit. We were ready to leave.
Back at the boat landing we saw a ton of butterflies eating the saltiness off the rocks and clay. After lunch we took another walk through the jungle. My mind was a thousand miles away. As I climbed over a fallen tree my right leg got snagged on a thorny vine. I never did see the vine but I pulled the prickers out of my pants. I looked down and saw reddish-purple blots. “Am I bleeding or was that from the plant?” I wondered out loud. Alan looked at me and said “that’s your blood”. Yikes, crazy, really? I turned the other way and dropped my pants.
It was really hot and sticky so I showered between hikes, plus I wanted to wash out my wound. We took another night hike and didn’t see anything except some leaf cutter ants. We could follow their trail all the way up a tall tree until our flashlights didn’t shine high enough. They climb to the tops of trees to cut the freshest leaves. Such hard working ants. After the hike we drank a beer with the tarantula before dinner. It had cleared up again and it was amazing how bright the stars were and how many of them we could see but I couldn’t identify any of the constellations. Tomorrow we leave.